Modern City serves a menu of Shanghai style Chinese cuisine for eat in, take out or delivery.
Was walking in Kerrisdale and noticed this newly opened Shanghainese restaurant. Seemed fairly busy for 1pm with 2/3 full and mostly Chinese. A check off style of dim sum menu on the weekdays and ticked off the steamed pork soup dumplings (XLB's). They were very good with ample soup. Had the Tan Tan noodles, just average but I prefer a less paste, more thin soup. But I think this is the traditionaly way. Had the cold duck which was very good. Great service, they do speak english but also Mandarin and Cantonese. Prices are average with the dumplings in the $6 range, noodles about $10 and many main noodles dishes below $10. Would come back at night to try their Peking Duck at $39 for 3 course.
The food is good and authentic. The lunch dim sum menu is varied and have all your standard Shanghai-ese fare. The ambience is contemporary. The space accommodates small groups in booths, large groups up to 8 at round tables, and a bar for singles, noodle takers or those who would like to watch the dumpling making.
However, the service is puzzling. They offered food to two other tables who were seated after me, and BEFORE they even looked at the menu. (This was not pre-ordered - the food came from the kitchen and the server asked if they wanted to try it.) This included offering to them one of the items that I had ordered.
I had ordered only two things - pan fried juicy pork buns and steamed vegetable dumplings. After waiting 20+ minutes and seeing the more recently arrived customers get food, I flagged down one of the servers. The head server told me that my order takes longer to make. All in all, it took 30 minutes for two dim sum dishes to arrive at 2:30pm on a Sunday afternoon (the restaurant was not full). Delicious as the food was and hungry as I was, I think this service and the server's explanation are ridiculous.
I think I will bring a Mandarin friend with me next time to see if I would get better service. The servers seem to give them preferential treatment.
In my previous review that I have predicted the Shanghai kitchen couldn't and wouldn't last for a year. I was wrong that they were there actually less than 6mos. Here goes again another "wanna be" has taken over. The new dig is Modern City Shanghai food. The ambiance and the menu are pretty well the same. Exception to that the new owner has no clue how to operate a restaurant. The shanghai siu lon bao is good but there are so many out there that are so much better. Ginger beef actually is orange beef so do not just read from the menu so make sure double check with your server. Good luck if you don't speak mandarin in this place. The food was very average and below par in comparison the same competitions around town. The killer is the MSG and I thought most asian eat outs has opted not to put these horrible chemistry in their food but guess what, you get a mouth full of this in this joint. So try to eat early because you will never be able to sleep and you will spend fair amount of time in the washroom and this is a promise
I believe there must be a curse or a spell casts in this location because there is no restaurant has survived for more than 12 months in the past 15 years. And no exception to Modern City and this is such a pity!